Library Visit: Ida Public Libary, Belvidere, IL

Ida Fuller Hovey (1859-1888)

Ida Public Library
320 N. State Street
Belvidere, IL 61008-3299
Boone County

The Ida Public Library was named after Ida Fuller Hovey whose father, General Allen Fuller, donated $5,000 to the city in 1883 to establish a library in her name. A Carnegie library grant of $17,500 was awarded on April 8, 1910, and the building was completed in 1912. An addition was added in 1987 that tripled the library’s space to 15,000 square feet. New expansion plans are on hold until the economy picks up. I’ve come to anticipate Carnegie libraries to be in the Classical Revival style but was pleasantly surprised to see that the Ida Public Library was designed in the Prairie style (with Classical Revival columns).

Built: 1912
Carnegie grant: $17,500
Designed by Patton &Miller

Addition completed: 1987
Collection: 75,942 volumes
Annual circulation: 169,988 items
Serves 20,820 residents


View from across the street. The original front doors are no longer in use. The front entrance is now on the right-hand side of the building.


The cornerstone.


View from the original front entrance.
Plaque to the right of the original inner front doorway honoring Boone County citizens who died in World War I.


In the center of the original library, looking north.


In the center of the original library, looking south.
The clean lines of the Prairie style.


Window detail.


As always, I checked out the Cather selection.


A nice touch is the framed art posters atop the bookshelves. Above is Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World.


A view of the 1987 addition. They did a nice job of tying in design elements to match the original section.


I agree!


Close-up of the original front entrance.
A thank you to Mr. Carnegie.
Classical meets Prairie.
Here’s a view of the new addition. As you can see, the new front entrance is between the original library and the new addition.
Wheelchair access and lower level entrance. The children’s department is on the lower level along with classrooms and staff offices.
A thank you to the Ida Public Library for 125 years of service. Presented by the Friends of the Ida Library in 2008.

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